Monday, September 28, 2015

Picture Book Preview #3

Happy Monday everyone or should I say..hope Monday wasn't too bad for everyone? Mondays always seem hard no matter what and as for my 3 yr old, Monday mornings are a difficult time transitioning back into the week routine of preschool. So, I've been reading this book to help her identify and understand her emotions she has. This book was a gift from her uncle and I absolutely love it!

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings  by Jo Witek is a wonderful book that introduces children to the different feelings their hearts can have. It explains what angry feels like, what silliness is like, what it means to be scared, etc. The illustrations are super cute and colorful and I love how they illustrate each feeling. 
This book would make a great gift for any child at any age! =) I definitely give this a thumbs up and a must-have to read with kids! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Picture Book Preview #2

Happy Friday everyone! TGIF! Thanks to all of you who are reading the blog and commenting on FB about it. I really appreciate it!

So, welcome back to Picture Book Preview #2. This next book is another great find from Powell's Books in Portland. Isn't the cover so cute?

The Wonderful Things You Will Be is written by Emily Winfield Martin, who is from Portland. What I love about this story is that it's written from the perspective of the parents and it portrays all the dreams and hopes a parent would have for their child as they grow up. What's even better is that these hopes are all about how the child will build his/her character. Example: "And the bigger your heart, the more it will hold." Then of course the best part is the end when the parent says "..And I'll love you, Whoever you've grown up to be." *sniff sniff* Seriously..what an awesome book! It's short and so sweet. I've been reading this book everyday to my girls! It's one of those books that you'd want to save until your kids grow up and keep as a memento. Here's an idea (a spinoff from one of my close church friend Mere): She has been having all caretakers and people that are involved in her daughter's life sign a special book, which for her is Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. You could do that with this book OR you can have your child tell you each year of their life one characteristic about themselves that they like and then write it in the book with the date and age. For example, if I were to ask my 3 yr. old, "Are you brave, strong, or kind? I think she might say "brave", but that's my guess. Then I'd write it in the book on one of the blank pages, date it, and write her age. As she gets older, I'd ask her to write it herself. Now, with my 1.5 yr. old, I'd probably do the same either with this book or with another book. Hmmm..something to think about! =) Hope you enjoyed this Picture Book Preview #2! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Picture Book Preview #3 next week on Monday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Picture Book Preview #1

As some of you might know, I love children picture books! It's a good thing I'm a teacher because I get to read some great picture books everyday to my students. =) Well, since I'm not teaching this year and staying at home with my girls,  I have my great collection of picture books from my classroom to read to them. However, I am always on the lookout for new books to add to my growing library! I could spend hours just reading and perusing through the children book section in a bookstore or even the library.

Nowadays, with my 3 year old, I've been looking for books that help build her self-esteem, character, and teach her life lessons. I really love stories where there is a life lesson to be learned from the plot or character and stories that just are plain encouraging and uplifting for the heart and soul! I'll be sharing one book at home in the next 3 blog posts. So stay tuned!

So, without further ado, here is one of my favorite picture books right now that I've been reading with my girls.

I discovered this picture book What Do You Do With An Idea? at Powell's Books in Portland while on a girls weekend trip. If you haven't been to this AMAZING bookstore in Portland, be sure to check it out! It's like a candy store for book lovers! =) I love this story because it's about this little boy who has an "idea". The author and illustrator portrays this "idea" as a type of thing (the little golden "egg" character) which I absolutely adore! It gives kids a great visual that an "idea" is like a living thing because an idea is brought to life in our minds! So the story takes the reader through the little boy's thoughts and feelings  about his "idea". He doesn't know what to do with his "idea" when it first popped into his life and wanted to it to go away but the "idea" kept following him around wanting attention and love. Then the story continues with the boy's acceptance of his "idea" and realizing that it's HIS "idea" and he's going to take care of it. He shares his "idea" with people around him and some like it and some don't. The boy learns that it's okay that some people don't like his "idea" because after all it's HIS idea and he's going to keep it around! In the end, the boy realizes that his "idea" can change the world! 

What an amazing and encouraging story that teaches kids that their ideas are meaningful. I also really love how the author portrays not just the positive things but also the difficult things that a person would encounter when they have an "idea" and want to share the "idea". In addition, I thought the illustrations perfectly portrayed the storyline. It's hard to explain it in words so you'll just have to get the book! =) I promise, it's a keeper that everyone in the family (young and old) will enjoy! Feel free to leave comments on what you think of this post and if you have any suggestions of new or old picture books that you love! I always love hearing picture book recommendations! Stay tuned for another picture book suggestion coming out this Friday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

For the Love of Community - Jen Hatmaker

Been really pondering what it means to be in community with others around me. Getting to and creating that depth in a friendship/relationship takes time. As I was perusing my Facebook feed I came upon this video that someone from our church shared and I just love how Jen Hatmaker describes how community begins. I love how she says "it just takes a table or a porch and food...just invite others around a table...conversation can just start with talk about trashy TV but eventually as you gather together more and more, the conversations itself become more meaningful and you begin to share your heart.." <3 this. Thank you Lord for speaking through this video.  Thought I'd share this as well with you all.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Being in Community...

Our church has been focusing a lot on discovering what it means to be "in community" with others around us through Scripture. I guess I wanted to share my thoughts and hopes because I really appreciate this journey that my church is going through during this season. 

First off, I really appreciate being in Community with others, no matter who you are or what you believe. I firmly believe that God has placed each individual in our lives for a reason. So for that, I am so grateful and blessed to have such wonderful friends and family.

After today's sermon from our pastor, he challenged us to think about our relationships/friendships and how can we move from a notion of  being "friendly" to having deeper relationships/friendships with each other. So that brings the question of what does it mean by having a deeper relationship with others. Well, my hope is that by being in community with others, I would be able to share freely my  joys, hopes, fears, and struggles, listen to others with a heart of grace, mercy, love, laugh together through life's joyous moments, and cry together during our most difficult times. I know for me at least, it's sometimes hard to "open" up and share life's deepest moments (happy or sad) because I feel insecure about what others might think. But as I've been learning how to share with others, it's been amazing to hear others share their lives with me as well! 

I guess this topic of "community" has been really hitting home for me because of my recent life change in being a SAHM (stay at home mom). I've come to realize that being a SAHM can be lonely at times even though it's the most rewarding job ever! So I am grateful to the community of friends that God has placed in my life (I know I said this earlier above, but had to say it again!). With that said, I am really looking forward to what God brings in this season of life in terms of community and the relationships that I already have with all of my friends and family. What does being in community with others mean to you? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kon Mari'ing Kids Clothes

Summer has come and gone and boy was it a fun-filled summer in our house! At the beginning of the summer way back in June, I had one week all to myself while the kids were still in daycare. So..what did I do with my free time? ORGANIZE of course! Who doesn't love a clean, organized, and tidy space? I certainly do!

So, a friend of mine introduced me to this newest tidying book that everyone has been reading and obviously I'm late to the bandwagon. Anyone else reading this or have read it? 

I have to say, this book is actually entertaining to read and the way Kon Mari talks about tidying up is different than anything I've heard before. Basically, the premise is "Choose and keep things that brings you joy." Well, duh, how come I never thought of that? SO SIMPLE! 

Okay, so as I'm reading this book, I was reading up on one of my favorite blogs iheartorganizing and she had this Four Week "Wait-No-More" Organizing Challenge! What great timing to get myself started on decluttering, tidying, and organizing my house one space at a time! So what space did I choose first? THE GIRLS CLOSET!

We recently just moved back into our house after remodeling our bathrooms and the bedrooms. After moving in, we decided to have the girls finally share a room. Hooray for me cuz now I get my office back! This meant I had to combine two girl closets into one, which was daunting to me because they both had so much clothes! So in comes the Kon Mari Method! 

Step 1: Purge! Take everything out...Seriously, look at all those clothes. How could a 2.5 yr old and a 16 month have so many clothes! I had to do a panorama to get it all in and to be honest after I took the picture, I found two more bins of clothes hiding in another room!
Before Purge
Step 2: Organize clothes. I kinda went overboard in organizing and I think I could have done it in a more efficient way but in the end, it all got done. I first grouped everything by type of clothing (pants, short, dresses, jackets, etc.). Then within each group I organized by clothing size (0-3 mo, 3-6 mo, etc). Here's a snapshot of what I did.

Organizing by clothing type..look at how the bins are overflowing!

Step 3: Folding the KonMari Way! I had to view several youtube videos on how to fold the KonMari Way.  I folded all the girls' clothes including socks and bibs. Here's a snapshot of their drawers. I used empty shoeboxes to hold the smaller items such as socks. This was a suggestion from the Kon Mari Method book. 

Reflection: This process ended up being a week-long project. It was very freeing to purge and clear up space in the closet and dresser. It's been 2 months since I've completed this project and it's been really easy finding clothes and putting clothes away because everything has its place. Sorry for the long post but hope you enjoyed reading my process of organizing my kids' clothes. What have you been organizing lately? Anyone else trying out the Kon Mari Method?

Yes those are post-it labels! I love labeling everything!